Hotel Reviews

My hOtel: Mandarin Oriental San Francisco


Located in San Francisco’s financial district, within walking distance of Union Square shopping and the Pier, the Mandarin Oriental was a fantastic choice for us when we recently visited this great city.

Being one of the city’s tallest buildings, it provided us with possibly the best photos of the San Francisco, better than any postcard I have ever seen.

This is what I call a 'Room with a View'

This is what I call a ‘Room with a View’



–          Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?

My stay was organised via email months before and everything was very straightforward.

–          Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?

Not during my stay, as it fell outside office hours. I did get some tweets the day before and after I left.

–          Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?

Yes, but as usual, I had no special requests (but was keeping everything crossed for a view!).



Arriving at the MO. Photo by Mandarin Oriental.

Arriving at the MO. Photo by Mandarin Oriental.

–          The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?

We landed quite late in San Francisco and were delighted to arrive. I was expecting quite a large hall, but was surprised with a very cozy lobby and hotel in general. Despite being in a very tall building, the hotel only occupies the top floors and I felt it was quite a small hotel. In fact, with only 158 rooms it felt quite special. Everything was uber understated and calm, and I loved it.

–          How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?

It took a mere 4 minutes as obviously not many people check in at 10pm!

–          Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)

Absolutely and throughout our stay.

The reception area. Photo by Mandarin Oriental.

The reception area. Photo by Mandarin Oriental.

–          Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?

I wasn’t sure which room I was going to get and was delighted with our Bay View King.

–          Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?

We thought the staff were brilliant.

–          Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know

We had our many bags taken from the car to the room and didn’t have to worry about anything. The same person brought them over.

–          Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?  

Yes, at $12 per day.


Room Experience

A very spacious and well designed room

A very spacious and well designed room

–          First impressions – décor, size and wow factor

Located on the 44th floor, our room (4405) was very spacious. I liked how simple the decor was – it was also very well designed and adequate for either a leisure or business stay.

–          Welcome amenity

We had some sweet treats and water.

Sweet treats awaited

Sweet treats awaited

–          The bed

Was absolutely fantastic. The mattress and pillows were great and the sheets were heavenly – with a touch of silk (or a silky feeling, which became my new obsession).


–          Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.

Great and with plenty of hangers.

–          Iphone Charger/Dock

We had an iphone4 dock but did not use.

–          Bathrobes and slippers

I usually don’t use hotel robes, but couldn’t help noticing these ones. For once, they weren’t matching and I thought they were fantastic. I obviously chose the one on the left and did wear it.

I loved the non matching robes

I loved the non matching robes

–          Coffee and Tea

We had no facilities in the room, but again, it is something I never use. Surely if we wanted a cup of tea or coffee, it would be brought quickly to us.

–          Free bottled water

Yes, and replaced every day.

–          Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!

We had a few magazines which were OK, but we had something even better, which I only noticed on the second day. There was an app to download free of charge, where we could choose which magazines (from a huge selection) to download. It was the first time I saw this at a hotel and believe it is a fantastic idea.

One of the best ideas ever.

One of the best ideas ever.

–          Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.

Oh yes, I thought they were very clever as they were incorporated in the furniture by each side of the bed.

Small details but oh so important

Small details but oh so important




A smart classic bathroom

A smart classic bathroom

–          First impressions – décor, size and wow factor

The bathroom was very classic and smart – spacious and had everything we needed.

–          Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?

We had a bath tub, which we did not use, and a fantastic walk-in shower, which I was able to operate without third-party help. It is not always the case.

–          Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?

Yes, plenty and very good.

–          Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!

Toiletries and vanity kit

Toiletries and vanity kit

We had MO’s signature range in small size. The shower gel was nice, but not so keen on the conditioner, to be honest. I thought the packaging was also lacking. Room for improvement here.

–          Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.

We had a shower cap and cotton pads/buds and did not need anything else.

–          Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?

Yes, but I did not use it.



Yummy French Toast

Yummy French Toast

We had a delicious a la carte breakfast with great choices. Mine was the baguette french toast ($16), with a green juice ($9) which was delicious. Breakfast takes place at the brasserie on the ground floor, next to the bar.

The breakfast and restaurant areas were nice and always quite busy.

The breakfast and restaurant areas were nice and always quite busy.



I tried the bar on two evenings and really liked our cocktails. I also thought the ipad menu was a nice touch.

A lychee martini for me, and a local small batch gin for Mr. O

A lychee martini for me, and a local small batch gin for Mr. O


General thoughts

–          How good and reliable was the wi-fi?

It wasn’t fantastic, and it ended being removed from our bill.

–          Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?

Not during my stay, but before and after.

–          Location

The hotel is located on Sansome Street, very close to Market St, the Piers and Union Square. Being in the financial district, it was very quiet during the weekend.

–          Cost – rooms starting from…

A Superior Bay View Room starts at USD 445 plus tax and a Deluxe Bay View King Room (our room) starts from USD 565 plus tax

–          Would I recommend it to my best friend?

I would.

–          Would I stay again?

Absolutely. We felt very at home at this hotel – it felt quite boutiquey, which we were not expecting. Everything was very understated, and calm, and there wasn’t a lot of noise for a city hotel (despite being almost full) and it was just what we needed.



Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?


Mrs. O


Disclaimer: I was a guest of Mandarin Oriental during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.

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View Comments (18)


  1. Karolyn Garcia

    June 24, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    I love love love your myhOtel posts, they make me feel like I know what I’m going to be getting into before actually booking a room!

  2. Deborah Thompson

    December 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Very enjoyable review, Mrs. O and some great pics! Always love the MO bathrooms with all the marble and deep soaker tubs. Sounds like a place New Jetsetters would definitlely enjoy this one! Hope you’ll stop by to read our upcoming review of the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas later this Christmas week! Putting the finishing touches on the video today! Warm regards! Deborah

  3. Cath

    October 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I loved the hotel too! In fact it looks like we may have had the same room! The most beautiful views – I loved it and hope to return next year 🙂

  4. the lazy travelers

    September 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    wouldn’t mind a few of those welcome treats! alsooo, have never seen a hotel offer digital versions of magazines before either! love! xo
    the lazy travelers recently announcement: the friendsgiving to end all friendsgivings…My Profile

  5. Becky Padmore

    September 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about this hotel, would love to stay one day!

  6. Chinmoy Lad

    September 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I may be going November to San Fran so will definitely stay here! Been in touch with the brilliant team there – looks like a gorg hotel, which you beautifully captured!

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 22, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      It is a beauty! Very understated. Really liked it.

    • Deborah Thompson

      December 25, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Hi Chin! Nice to see you on Mrs. O’s website! Hope you are well and enjoying the holiday season wherever you may be! Warm regards, Deborah

  7. Joanna

    September 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I stayed here last month and had the same room! Great review – I did not try the french toast but will for sure next time! Did you try the spa? Heavenly

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Great to hear! No spa for me as we did not have time. But hope to return. Was a great hotel indeed.

  8. John M

    September 21, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    You can never go wrong with a MO! Have stayed here a few times before the renovation – it did need it. Looking good and will consider for our next SF trip.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 21, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      I had a look at older photos and the need was clear. Current decor looks very timeless and was very tasteful too.

  9. Maria

    September 21, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    What a stunning hotel! We are planning a trip to SF next year and this would be perfect. Thank you!

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 21, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      If the location works for you – it did for us, would have no issue in recommending it. Service was perfect and the rooms very comfortable.

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